Hyde Parkers back Coalition to Revitalize Dyett proposal

Staff Writer

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Council Schools Committee and the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council voted to send letters of support to the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett as it prepares its proposal to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for an open enrollment, green technology high school.

At its meeting Wednesday night, members of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council (HP-K CAC) voted to write a letter in support of the coalition’s proposal for Dyett Green Technology High School, emphasizing that it supports a school that is a CPS run, open enrollment, neighborhood school. The group’s letter will also emphasize the four years the coalition has put into developing its plan for the school and recognizing that those who live in the community, whose children will be attending the school, are the ones who developed the plan.

There was concern by one member about supporting the coalition without having seen proposals from others who plan to respond to CPS’s request for proposals but the end result was 16 voting in favor of the letter of support, one not in favor and one abstention.

Although there may be other proposals out there, the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett has proven its dedication to the children living in the community that the school would serve and to its willingness to work with the community to serve the children, said Denise Hill, co-chairwoman of the HP-K CAC.

“One thing you cannot replicate and you cannot replace or put in an RFP is the dedication, commitment, love and heart this coalition has put forward as it regards to the children,” Hill said.

Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee co-chairwoman Camille Hamilton-Doyle, who attended Wednesday night’s meeting, said the committee also voted to send a letter of support for the Dyett Green Technology High School.

Members from both groups said that the community needs an open enrollment school in the area.

In addition to the HP-K CC Schools Committee and HP-K CAC, the coalition has garnered support from University of Illinois College of Education, elected officials including state Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-5) and Historian Tim Black, who was taught by the school’s namesake, Walter Dyett.

Duane Turner, leader of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett said the curriculum, which will include environmental, entrepreneurial, and technology studies as well as wrap around services, “will engage children, make them exited about learning and about coming to school and make them ambassadors and problem solvers in their own community.”

Northbrook, Ill.–based development company Brinshore and Little Black Pearl Arts and Design Academy in North Kenwood have also announced interest in submitting proposals for the Dyett building.

CPS will review all proposals submitted by its deadline on April 6.